Gods of the Junkyard, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!

I'm not clean...

The Problem:

The Metro is Squeaking.  The Squeaking is Annoying.

The Plan:

  1. Remove Alternator Adjustment Arm
  2. Straighten Alternator Adjustment Arm
  3. Replace Alternator Adjustment Arm
  4. Adjust Belt Tension
  5. Enjoy squeak-free Metro when hauling yurt 100 miles to Bryan a few days from now

The Reality:


  1. Remove Alternator Adjustment Arm
  2. Discover Alternator Adjustment Arm Mounting Bolt is Fucking Broken
  3. Swear
  4. Attempt to Straighten Alternator Adjustment Arm
  5. Discover Alternator Adjustment Arm is basically straight
  6. Swear
  7. Spend four hours embedding broken hardened steel screw extractors in poorly centered holes, ensuring broken screw will never come out of the water pump, and may now be impossible to drill
  8. Swear
  9. Remove dropped broken drill bit from uncovered timing belt compartment
  10. Realize the only way to remove the water pump is to partially drop the engine, remove two pulleys, drain the radiator, and remove the timing belt, reversing an operation that took two days before and broke 2 of the 6 screws that hold the water pump on, one of them permanently
  11. Swear I will Never, Ever Do This, no matter how much more work, time, swearing, and broken tools will result from me *not* doing it
  12. Admit this isn’t even the real problem anyway, though I can’t drive the car again until it’s fixed.  I am now at least one day behind when I started, *and* the car doesn’t run
  13. Look for Real Source of Problem
  14. Put on Gloves (SMART!)
  15. Remove Alternator
  16. Put on Aunt Jemima Head Wrap in vain attempt to protect hair
  17. Remove Alternator Bracket without lifting car
  18. Swear (muffled)
  19. Realize Epicly Wobbling Alternator Bracket is the Real Problem
  20. Remove dropped broken drill bit from uncovered timing belt compartment
  21. Miraculously find early 2000-era aluminum arrow from Advanced Archery at Texas A&M University is the perfect fit for shimming the Alternator Bracket, making it the ideal fix for at least the fifth Major Project since then.
  22. Mix JB Weld
  23. Watch JB Weld drool all over kitchen table
  24. Swear
  25. Spent 45 minutes putting away tools I will just have to pull out again tomorrow
  26. Scrub face
  27. Collapse


  1. Admire work on JB Welded, Arrow-Shimmed Alternator Bracket.  Not realize this was the easy part.
  2. Dremel off extra JB Weld and arrow tubing
  3. Put on gloves (STILL SMART!)
  4. Re-attach Alternator Bracket
  5. Put on Aunt Jemima Head Wrap in vain attempt to protect hair
  6. Drop tools into own aluminum-powder-and-grease-covered face repeatedly due to crazy muscle fatigue from working on parts six inches above my eyeballs while lying upside down in a pool of Various Automotive Fluids
  7. Curse
  8. Re-install Alternator
  9. It FITS! No more wobble-wobble!
  10. *SING!*
  11. Return to Broken Bolt in Water Pump Problem
  12. Remove Water Pump Pulley
  13. Remove Dipstick Tube (pay attention Mr. Cheney!)
  14. Spend four hours using Drills, Dremels, three different 90-degree adapters to *slowly*, *painfully* grind, scrape, and rasp my way through combination of broken off hardened screw remover bits and marginally less hard steel bolt mounted in aluminum water pump until, *finally*, I have a un-threaded hole the same size as the original threaded hole and swear and swear and SWEAR!
  15. Get nifty replacement bolt from Chris, compliments of Re-Volt
  16. Re-attach straightened Alternator Adjustment Arm
  17. Replace Water Pump Pulley
  18. Thoroughly grease face by trying, from four different angles, using three different tools, to put in ONE FUCKING SCREW to re-attach Dipstick Tube
  19. Swear that I *WILL* *NOT* remove the Water Pump Pulley again just to put on the fucking Dipstick Tube!!!!!
  20. Swear and swear and physically restrain self from kicking Metro
  21. Remove Water Pump Pulley
  22. Replace Dipstick Tube
  23. Discover Grease-infused, treadwear-destroyed Hard Rock Cafe Austin t-shirt might be worth $125 on Ebay were it not grease-infused and treadwear-destroyed
  24. Swear
  25. Replace Water Pump Pulley for the Second Time
  26. Replace Alternator Adjustment Arm
  27. Find Two Extra Bolts
  28. Swear
  29. Slowly, painfully replace Two Extra Bolts into bottom of Alternator Mounting Bracket.  Take twice as long as normal due to fatigue, anger, and having the rachet set backward half the time
  30. Re-position Alternator Belt
  31. Adjust Alternator Tension
  32. Declare VICTORY!
  33. Try to Start Car
  34. Note Lack of Startage
  35. Swear and swear and swear and SWEAR AND SWEAR AND *SWEAR*!
  36. Look for Third New and Worse Than Any Problem I Started With Problem
  37. Discover Fuel Injector Wire backed out of connector
  38. Re-insert Fuel Injector Wire into connector
  39. Try to Start Car
  40. IT STARTS!
  41. Experience multiple internal and external orgasms in every muscle and nerve simultaneously while WHOOPING!!! at the Top of my Lungs
  42. Stuff popcorn into grinning, motor oil and metal shaving-covered face
  43. Write Really Long Blog Post
  44. Collapse

I skipped some steps, but I think you get the idea.

Using an old arrow from my A&M Advanced Archery class to shim the Metro's alternator mount.

Shimmed mount attached to alternator. There's *way* less play now!

"Many Bothans died to bring you this repair..."

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One Response to Gods of the Junkyard, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!

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